Living a sustainable life in Chicago

Living a sustainable life in Chicago

A few days ago, I was reading about the Lima Climate Change Conference that took place in Lima, Peru in December. An agreement was struck by 190 countries to abide by certain environmental regulations  in the near future. Whether you believe in the impact of climate change or global warming or are passionate about environment conservation, it’s hard not to think about how our actions today will affect future generations. At the very least, I would hope most people can agree it makes sense to conserve resources when possible, right?

So this eventually led me to re-evaluate my day to day activities to see how sustainable my lifestyle is. Here’s a quick breakdown of some major areas:

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Buying straight from the farm with CSA shares: Is it worth it?

CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) have continued their momentum in recent years and are starting to become a little more mainstream. Recently, my family subscribed to a meat CSA share based on the recommendation of a co-worker.  I was always curious to see how a CSA share worked and if it was worth it. Well after taking the plunge, here are my initial thoughts along with some benefits that CSA programs can bring to Chicagoans and their communities.

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Project: VISION – Support for community youths

Project: VISION – Support for community youths

Organizations that focus on development and support of youths are pillars in Chicago’s communities. Project: VISION is one such nonprofit organization that helps youths in the Chinatown and Bridgeport neighborhoods. Last month we had a chance to talk about Project: VISION with its executive director, Karen Chiu, and development coordinator, Sandy Guan.

Project: VISION was founded in 2003 by Chiu and four fellow co-founders. Chiu, a physician, was an active community volunteer in the Chinatown neighborhood in which she grew up. After volunteering for a youth program in between years at medical school, the experience gave her the idea of providing services for youth development in Chinatown and neighboring Bridgeport. Project: VISION focuses specifically on helping adolescents in the 12-18 year old range. Programs offered include after school homework tutoring, college workshops and ACT prep classes. In addition to these educational services, Project: VISION also creates programs to encourage students to get involved in community service and to develop leadership skills.

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Urban Food Production

Urban Food Production

Call it trend or whatever you want, but the concept of growing food in an urban setting is pretty cool. Whether it’s raising fish or growing vegetables indoors, urban food production is here to stay in Chicago.

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